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Sliding-Mode Control of Pneumatic Actuators for Robots and Telerobots Open Access


Other title
On/off solenoid valve
Sliding-mode control
Pneumatic actuator
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hodgson, Sean E
Supervisor and department
Tavakoli, Mahdi Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Examining committee member and department
Huang, Biao Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Tavakoli, Mahdi Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Chen, Tongwen Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Control Systems
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
For robotic systems that use pneumatic actuators with on/off solenoid valves, sliding-mode control laws for precise position control and low switching (open/close) activity of the valves are presented. A pneumatic actuator has two chambers with a total of four on/off solenoid valves. Thus, there are sixteen possible combinations for the valves' on/off positions. Only seven of these sixteen "operating modes" are considered both functional and unique. While previous work has focused on three-mode closed-loop control of such an actuator, this thesis extends the three-mode control to seven-mode control. This thesis also extends the application from the position control of a single robot to the bilateral control of a telerobot. We introduce and compare two novel seven-mode controllers for a pneumatic actuator. The first is a sliding-mode controller utilizing a switching function that is a function of the system states. The second is a sliding-mode, pulse-width-modulation (PWM) controller utilizing a time-averaged model of the open-loop system. Both controllers minimize the tracking error by employing the operating modes that have the necessary and sufficient amounts of drive energy and, thus, involve reduced switching activity while maintaining satisfactory tracking performance. The performance of the proposed control design is experimentally verified on a single pneumatic actuator. Also, the seven-mode position control is extended to force control to make seven-mode teleoperation control possible. Experimental verification on a pair of pneumatic actuators utilizing position-position based and force-position based teleoperation control to verify the validity of our theoretical results. Overall, it is found that leveraging the additional modes of operation leads to more efficient and smoother control in both the single-actuator and the dual-actuator teleoperated pneumatic systems.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Sean Hodgson, Minh Quyen Le, Mahdi Tavakoli, Minh Tu Pham, "Improved Tracking and Switching Performance of an Electro-Pneumatic Positioning System," to appear in Elsevier Mechatronics.Sean Hodgson, Minh Quyen Le, Mahdi Tavakoli, Minh Tu Pham, "Sliding-Mode Control of Nonlinear Discrete-Input Pneumatic Actuators," in Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), San Francisco, USA, September 2011.

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